STORY OF MY LIFE

(Indianapolis: The Bobbs-Merrill, 1923).

FIRST EDITION OF THIS FINE AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL WORK. Harry Johnston spent his life exploring Africa and wrote some of the greatest accounts of all time, including books on Liberia, Uganda and the missionary George Grenfell in the Congo. Two years residence in the Central African region produced his superb description of the physical geography, botany, zoology, anthropology, language, and history of the eastern portion of British Central Africa, primarily the territories bordering on Lakes Tanganyika and Nyasa.
Johnston began his travels in Africa at the age of 21 with his 1879-1880 journey to the interior of Tunisia as a student of painting, architecture, and languages. This trip sparked the passion for travel and exploration in the wilds of the African continent that he would spend the next several decades fulfilling.
His journeys and his leadership potential were first brought to the attention of the Royal Geographical Society and the British Association in 1883 when he met H.M. Stanley and traveled with him to the remote river above the Stanley Pool in the Congo, a virgin territory little known to other Europeans at that time. From there his travels and responsibilities expanded rapidly; he was commissioned to lead a scientific expedition to Mount Kilimanjaro beginning in Zanzibar in 1884, the success of which led to his appointment as British vice-consul and eventually acting consul in Cameroon and the Niger Delta.
He held a number of government positions through the next 20 years, perhaps best known for his "Cape-to-Cairo" scheme, a phrase coined in the London Times in August of 1888. The plan entailed having British influence in an unbroken line from Alexandria to Cape Town, but was foiled in July of 1890 when the British were forced to give up their sphere of influence north of Lake Tanganyika to the Germans. His later days were spent organizing British administration in Uganda and Liberia as well as writing about his life experiences in Africa. He had extensive experience with negotiations in the Liberian republic, a state of 43,000 square miles created in the Western forests of the African continent, and his culminating efforts to organize its administration, finances, and methods of interior development. Sir Harry wrote important early accounts of the Congo Independent State, and always gave an in-depth look at the people and the natural environs and provides an excellent anthropological account of the region of the world with abundant photographs, drawings, and maps. Item #28750

First Edition. Illustrated with photographs and paintings throughout. Royal 8vo, publisher's original maroon polished buckram, the upper cover with facsimile autograph in gilt, the spine gilt lettered and gilt ruled, in the very scarce dustjacket. [4], 504 pp. An especially fine copy, beautifully preserved, the binding and text-block in excellent condition, the dustjacket very fine with a bit of age evidence.

Price: $275.00